Sports | September 21, 2021 11:07 am

Peyton Manning Says He Worried Locker Room in New England Was Bugged

The former QB said he would huddle with his receivers in the shower rather than around his locker

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shakes hands with former Broncos QB Peyton Manning. The QB claims he was worried New England had bugged his locker room.
Patriots head coach Bill Belichick shakes hands with Peyton Manning
Matthew J. Lee/The Boston Globe via Getty

While playing in New England for the Colts and Broncos, Peyton Manning said he would huddle with his receivers in the shower rather than around his locker because he was worried Bill Belichick and the Patriots had the room bugged.

“Every time I played against New England, I used to talk to my receivers like in the shower in the far corner. I’m like, ‘Don’t talk about a play next to my locker,’ because I know it’s bugged. I know it’s got a hot mic in it in there,” Manning said during his alternate MegaCast broadcast of Monday Night Football between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. “We were in the shower. It’s very strange. Very strange to see seven guys hanging out there in the back of the shower. But take all precautions.”

Given the two-time Super Bowl winner’s comments, don’t expect Belichick to join him and little brother Eli on an upcoming edition of their alternate MNF broadcast. But the Mannings don’t exactly need the legendary coach to make an appearance, as they have had no shortage of high-profile guests; Brett Favre, Rob Gronkowski, Patrick Willis and Pat McAfee stopped by last night after the brothers welcomed Charles Barkley, Ray Lewis, Travis Kelce and Russell Wilson in Week 1.

The Mannings will be back at it again on ESPN2 in Week 3 when the Eagles travel to Dallas to take on the Cowboys before taking a break from broadcasting for a few weeks. In all, the Mannings will be on the air 10 times this season. Considering how popular they’ve been through two weeks, it wouldn’t be a shock to see ESPN expand their deal so that number can increase. That might hurt ESPN’s traditional MNF broadcast, but all’s fair in love and football media.

“We’re looking to do something different with Peyton and Eli,” as Lee Fitting, the senior vice president of production for ESPN, told The Athletic earlier this month. “That feeling is mutual. Peyton and Eli are looking to do something different, as well. I think it’s pretty clear that if Peyton or Eli wanted to be in a booth, they probably would have been in some booth at some network by now. But they’re excited to do something like this that’s more casual, more conversational, two brothers talking ball as if they’re sitting in a living room or basement together.”

Or a shower in the locker room in New England.